Saturday, September 30, 2006
Qissat: Short Stories By Palestinian Women is a new collection of stories by a diverse group of Palestinian women. Some are living under occupation, others are in the Arab world and beyond. Here's a review in Arabic and one in English.
I like the article except for the last part, where he makes a connection between the Pope and Bush--that was the least convincing part and there wasn't much evidence presented to support the link.
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrup this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
As idiotic as these remarks are, the response to them of some so called Muslims is far more idiotic.
What do you do to prove that Islam is not violent?
You threaten violence. You send death threats. You froth at the mouth. You scream and rage. Or, if you are as "reasonable" as Al-Zawahiri, you ask the Pope to convert to Islam!
Ya, very effective.
I think the Muslims are facing two problems: one is the racist, Islamophobic discourse circulating around these days. The other is their inability to mount an argument against this racism. It's easier for those people to shake their fists, to demonstrate and torch some cars than to learn their own history and use it to counter those who are attacking them.
The worst part of all is that the Muslims who are screaming are the ones who are being heard, drowning all other voices. But perhaps the those others are . . . whispering.
When 40% of Americans believe the conflict is between the west and "Islam" (not just a group of terrorists), you know that whispering is not going to cut it.
One final note just to explain where I'm coming from: I am for free idiotic racist, sexist, and Islamophobic speech, as long as it does not directly threaten the lives of others. If that French teacher said what he said then added that the French should go out hunt some Muslims, then this is hate speech. Unfortunately, it's a few Muslims who decided to make the threat and therefore lost the argument.
This is a disaster. Families will be broken up, lives turned upside down, and the economy--whatever shreds are left of it--will be devastated. This is an ingenious policy to cleanse Palestine of any elements that may contribute to the emergence of an economically viable Palestinian state. Zahi Khour writes about the issue from an investor's point of view in this Wall Street Journal commentray.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Ummaya Juha is my least favorite Palestinian cartoonist. In other words, I don't like her work. It's too heavy handed, sentimental, chiche ridden, and sometimes sexist. In this cartoon, entitled "The New Middle East," it has to be a woman who represents betrayal, defeat, and western and Israeli hegemony. Not any woman, she has to be "secular" or "western" looking, unveiled, wearing make up, etc. Enough already!
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Several stations had already rejected the spot from Dennis Mitsubishi, which boasted that sales representatives wearing burqas _ head-to-toe traditional dress for Islamic women _ would sell vehicles that can "comfortably seat 12 jihadists in the back..."
"A new poll from Princeton Survey Research Associates has produced some startling, and worrying, results. While 49% of Americans said they regard September 11 as the start of a major conflict between the US/Europe and a small group of radicals, a whopping 40% consider the
Notice the 40% who consider the US in conflict with Islam!
The question is, what now?
These are the covers for the recent issue of Newsweek. Obviously, the editors decided not to disturb the American public with news of the resurgence of Taliban, and chose for the U.S. edition a photo spread by celebrity photographer Annie Liebovitz. Now, that's news!